Public’s paperwork burden is still overwhelming, report says

The public continues to be overwhelmed with government-related paperwork, despite a wave of e-government initiatives and two laws that aim to reduce such paperwork, according to a new report from the Office of Management and Budget.

In fiscal 2001, the public spent an estimated 7.65 billion "burden hours" responding to government requests for information, the report, "Managing Information Collection and Dissemination," said.

A burden hour is the measurement used by OMB to estimate the amount of time and expense it takes for people to fill out agency forms, reports and other types of paperwork for the government. The figure equated to almost 24 hours per household during fiscal 2001. The IRS accounted for about 80 percent of the governmentwide burden-hour estimate, due mainly to changes on the agency's tax forms, the report said. Burden hours totaled 7.4 billion hours in fiscal 2000, up from 7 billion in fiscal 1995.

"The American people are spending more time than ever before dealing with federal red tape," said Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs Administrator John Graham. OIRA oversees compliance with the 1980 and 1995 Paperwork Reduction Acts, which require agencies to reduce the public's paperwork burden. Before agencies can request paperwork from the public, they must get OIRA's approval.

As part of the development of its report, OMB asked all federal agencies to come up with at least two initiatives for reducing paperwork requirements and to submit regular progress reports to OIRA. At the Housing and Urban Development Department, for example, an online loan origination program is expected to streamline the agency's mortgage insurance application process.

OMB said the administration's focus on e-government projects and new guidelines on information quality will help the federal government better comply with paperwork reduction mandates. Last year, OMB issued guidelines that require agencies to make information quality a performance goal and to develop a review process to ensure the integrity of information before it is released.

"We're committed to eliminating paperwork that only burdens and doesn't benefit the public," Graham said.

Federal agencies reduced Paperwork Reduction Act violations in fiscal 2001 to 406, down from 487 violations the previous year.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.